Dine with Diana: Best Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup Ever!

With Jack Frost nipping at our noses (yes, I am in the Holiday spirit!),the hubby and the girls haven’t been feeling too well. Even with my pickiest eaters, they only want one thing: SOUP. I mean who doesn’t like a nice, hot bowl of soup when you’re not feeling too well or on a cold, winter today? Helloooo, it’s the ultimate comfort food! Especially chicken noodle soup! Yup, that’s right chicken noodle soup and it’s super easy to make! My Grandmother would make this all throughout winter, so this soup definitely brings back memories.

Hubs and I have made this amazing soup twice in the last month. First we used the carcass of a delicious roasted organic chicken. Then, of course, we followed that up with our Thanksgiving turkey carcass (also, organic and yes, I swear it DOES make a difference). The carcass of a delicious roasted organic chicken. I told Hubs that if chicken noodle soup could be gourmet, then this would be it.

Try this recipe and let me know what you think.

HINT: Even my 2-year-old is eating this soup daily. She’s addicted.

Xo,
Diana

Best Healthy Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Soup Ever

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken or turkey carcass (preferably organic)
  • 6 cups chicken broth, homemade broth or veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 coarse sea salt tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 6 carrots, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 fennel bulbs (thick base of stalk), stalks cut off, bulbs halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise in 1-inch
  • thick pieces (can replace with 2 stalks of celery, but fennel adds a much more exotic flavor)
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • Ka-me Japanese curly noodles cooked (or your favorite healthy pasta or rice)

Directions:

  1. Place broth, water, salt, pepper, onion, 2 carrots, 1 fennel bulb, dill and thyme carcass into a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil then simmer at least 2 hours.
  3. Using a cheese cloth strainer, pour soup over and into another pot.
  4. Remove chicken from the bones and gather any loose chicken, then place into the strained pot of soup.
  5. Discard the rest of the bones and cooked veggies.
  6. Add the remaining 4 carrots and fennel to the soup along with 1 stalk of celery
  7. Bring to a boil then simmer at least one hour. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  8. Put cooked noodles into the pot and serve!

TIP: I like to top mine w/ a few shakes of herbs de provence rather than add too much salt.

Tell us, what soup do your kids enjoy?

Movember: Cancer Stats & How to Stay Healthy

We all know that the men in our lives are less likely to visit the doctor when they’re sick. The team at Movember aims to change that by raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate & testicular cancer. They want everyone to know that most cancers can be treated effectively if caught early!

As Movember comes to a close, here are a few key statistics about cancer that surprised us, as well as a list of tips for keeping your beloved “Mo Bros” healthy.

Did you know:

  • 1 in 2 men, and 1 in 3 women, will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
  • An average of 28,000 men will die from prostate cancer in 2012
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35
  • An average of 450 men will die from breast cancer in 2012
  • Four times as many men commit suicide compared with women

How to Stay Healthy:

  1. Have a physical EVERY YEAR
  2. Know your family healthy history
  3. DON’T SMOKE
  4. Exercise & Stay Active
  5. Get Good, Consistent Sleep
  6. Know Your Body & Pay Attention to Strange Symptoms
  7. Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet
  8. Stay Within A Healthy Weight Range
  9. Tame the Stress Monster
  10. Drink Alcohol Moderately

Click here for more information on Movember & men’s health.

 

Movember Guest Post Part 3: Mocha Dad

{Meet Frederick J. Goodall of Mocha Dad}

My uncle Bobby was a fascinating man. Having spent the majority of his life working in the Middle-East, he was full of stories and wild experiences. He owned a villa in Spain, vacationed in Thailand, and owned the finest luxury cars in the world. Whenever I was in St. Louis, I always went to his house to listen to his stories. They never got old to me.

On one visit, I noticed that Uncle Bobby didn’t look well. He had lost weight and his gait was slow. I asked him if everything was okay and he told me that he was fine. I knew that he wasn’t but I didn’t want to call him on it. Later on, one of his nieces, revealed to us that uncle Bobby had prostate cancer. It had spread throughout his body because Uncle Bobby always avoided the doctor and never scheduled regular check-ups.

Losing Uncle Bobby was tragic. If only he had gotten an exam sooner…maybe he’d still be with us today. But one good thing did come from Uncle Bobby’s death. My father-in-law scheduled a prostate exam. Thankfully the doctor discovered his prostate cancer and performed surgery before it could spread.

Although regular screenings are important for all men, routine prostate cancer screenings are critical for African-Americans. Among black men, 19 percent — nearly one in five — will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and five percent of those will die from this disease. In fact, prostate cancer is the fourth most common reason overall for death in African-American men. The American Cancer Society recommends that African-American men discuss testing with their doctor at age 45, or at age 40 if they have several close relatives who have had prostate cancer before age 65.

In addition to recognizing the need for early screening, men should be aware of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. These symptoms can include urinating in the middle of the night, needing to urinate more frequently, and feeling like the bladder doesn’t completely empty. Blood in the urine may also be a sign of prostate cancer. The good news is that prostate cancer treatment has a 95 success rate if detected early.

I encourage all men to schedule a physical as soon as possible. If we are to raise strong families and have strong marriages, we have to protect our health.

I don’t want any family to experience a loss of a loved one due to prostate cancer. That’s why I’m participating in Movember to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues. Visit my personal Movember page and make a donation today.

Frederick J. Goodall writes the fatherhood blog Mocha Dad. He is also a freelance writer, speaker, and owner of the Communications and Media company, Goodall Creative Services. Pie is his favorite dessert.

Why Every Mom Should Try a Shellac Manicure

Totsy’s very own online marketing director, Irina, gave the shellac manicure a try and here’s what she had to say:

I’ve held out on getting a shellac manicure for so long, but finally caved last weekend! I try to avoid all these ‘fad’ manicures and trends as I am hesitant about all these chemicals that can weaken your nails. Several of my friends swear by shellac, so I finally decided to give it a shot. I’m in love!

Why shellac manicures rocks:

  1. Lasts much longer than your average manicure. A good manicure for me lasts 5-10 days. Shellac lasts almost 3 weeks, sometimes more, without chipping. You usually have to get a new manicure not because of chipping, but because your own nails grew out too long.
  2. Makes your nails stronger. I was chopping vegetables post-shellac and bam – knife right into my nail. My shark knife would no doubt have left a dent in my manicure or a cut fingernail, but I guess this hardened gel is not as easy to shatter.
  3. Gives your nails this gorgeous shine.
  4. No drying time! Once your manicure is finished, you can head out the door without having to worry about not being able to change your baby’s diaper. No more smudging!

I highly recommend a shellac manicure for moms with little time to spare for themselves!

Have you ever tried a shellac manicure?  What do you think?  If you’d like to DIY at home for a fraction of the cost, check out our blog post: How To Shellac Nails at Home!

How To: Shellac Nails at Home

$40 for a gel manicure every two to three can get costly pretty quickly! Unless you’re going on vacation or have a super important event coming up, there’s no need to break the wallet. And of course spending money on a regular manicure gets pretty annoying when it only lasts a week, especially with kids! Enough with the rant, here’s an easy, at home shellac manicure (no UV light required) that anyone can do!

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Give yourself a relaxing manicure! Crank up the tunes, light some incense or candles and clip, file, and buff away!
  2. To ensure your nails are fully dry, run over each one with a cotton ball dipped in nail polish remover.
  3. Gently buff your nails, so they are slightly rough (not too rough!). Apply one coat of the 3 way glaze to each nail.
  4. Apply two coats (or three depending on the shear-ness of the color).
  5. Apply one coat of the Sephora by OPI UV Effects polish to each nail and let dry.

Voila! You’ve got yourself your very own shellac manicure!

You can view our YouTube Video for Shellac nails here: http://go.totsy.com/Qlk50V 

Have you ever had a shellac manicure?  Would you try this shellac mani at home? Share with us your shellac stories!

What Our Totsy Friends Are Thankful For

[Image source: chocolatebrides.com]

Last week, we posted to our Facebook page and tweeted asking our fans what they’re thankful for this year.  Here are some of your responses:

  • Lakeetha Collins: I’m thankful every day
  • Karen Amy Whitt Finley: i am thankful for my sons family and friends!
  • Shelli Zabiski Nolan: Everything!!
  • Andrea Kandy Glory: My loved ones:)!!!
  • Kaiti Sandifer: for my wonderful kids and a great partner to go thru this crazy life we have…healthy and happiness
  • Elizabeth A Masciocchi: My kids all home and not one fight very nice for a change.
  • Shandy Black: i am thankful 4 my kids and family also my man josh and his family
  • Julia Mackey: I am every day my eyes see a new day an myfeet hit the floor.
  • Veronica Hernandez: I am thankful for my beautiful kids Neveha, Alyssa, Alexander, Mila..
  • Shelly Dixon ‏(@atticgirl76): @MyTotsy I am #thankful for small blessings like caffeine on a Thanksgiving morning

Wha t are you thankful for?  Share with us in the comments below!

Al Fresco with Autumn: Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup

The only thing better than Thanksgiving dinner is the delectable spread of leftovers we get to enjoy over the following weekend. I can’t wait. But honestly, with the size of turkeys these days, does anyone ever get through the whole darn bird?

Put all that gobble gobble! to good use and spare yourself the wasteful anguish with this light & healthy Leftover Turkey Soup recipe. Believe me, you can’t mess it up. Add and substitute just about any fresh herb, vegetable or starch that you like. Rosemary instead of sage, potato instead of noodles, mushrooms instead of zucchini, you name it.

(photo credit: kitchendaily.com)

Leftover Turkey Vegetable Soup

Total time: 2.5 hours (2 hours for stock, 30 min to assemble final product)

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • Turkey carcass (bones, skin, gross parts…everything but the meat)
  • 2 cups turkey meat, diced
  • ½ package egg noodles, cooked as directed
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced
  • 2 Tbsps. chopped fresh sage (or dried)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • chicken bouillon – 1-2 cubes

Directions

  1. Separate all turkey meat from the carcass and set aside. Ideally you’ll have about 2 cups of leftover turkey meat.
  2. In a large soup pot, add turkey carcass, onion, celery and bay leaves with about 6 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 2 hours, up to 3 hours if you have the time.
  3. Remove from heat and strain the stock completely – be very diligent with this as the boiling process can render small bones a choking hazard if you don’t remove them completely.
  4. Add garlic, bouillon, sage, and carrots to the strained stock in your large soup pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add turkey and zucchini and simmer for an addt’l 10 minutes.
  6. Add noodles, stir well and ladle into individual bowls for serving.
  7. For an extra kick, throw in some dried red chili flakes.

Enjoy!